Food plotting in the west...

Just bought a new 24 acre place in western Nebraska for a full time home. I have plenty of cover with mature ponderosa and WRC.
Currently mule deer and antelope frequent the area and cross the property. I have been fairly successful as a whitetail food plotter but this is a whole new venture for me. The surrounding Ag is rotational dryland wheat and corn, so they don't have to walk far to find food. So I have opted to plant alfalfa in the fall since the closest is over 5 miles away.
But the most important variable out here is water. That's the number one project I need to clean out and line a existing pond with my skid. Also am going to install quite a few tank/waterholes. Along with that is summer thermal cover/shade for the summer. I was thinking about trimming out the north side of the WRC to allow them to bed under them easier.
Open to any and all ideas. Go!!
I have no experience in that type of environment at all; but I would be planting winter wheat and winter rye each fall. I've hunted several ranches in western Kansas many moons ago and most of the crop ground was in wheat year after year, if there was no irrigation that is.